I love granola, but one thing I’ve always found disappointing is how little flavor variation there is between different recipes. Sure, I may use different nuts or dried fruits, different oils or sweeteners, but by the time I stir it, bake it, and add some yogurt or almond milk it always tastes sort of the same. The only exception I’ve found is peanut butter granola, which is delicious, but I wanted something lighter, fruitier, more tropical. I tried experimenting with different spices and types of honey, but the differences were subtle, and the classic granola flavor persisted.
Then, one day, while nibbling on a freeze dried mango slice I realized I was holding the secret to my success. At first I wasn’t sure how to incorporate the freeze dried fruit since it burns easily if exposed to direct heat. I decided to add it in after cooking and before cooling, just as I would do with chunks of dried fruit.
I whipped up a batch of granola, pulverized a handful of dehydrated fruit, and sprinkled it over the fresh-from-the-oven oats, and stirred in some chopped dried mango for another layer of fruitiness. The result was just what I’d been dreaming of, a unique, tropical, fruity granola.
Freeze dried fruits have no added sugar or preservatives and a concentrated fruit flavor. As an added bonus, their low moisture content helps keep your granola crisp. This recipe could easily by adapted to make strawberry, apple, or banana granola. Try it out! You won’t be disappointed
Fantasy Mango Granola Recipe
(yields approximately 4 cups)
3 c. oatmeal (I used gluten free)
3 T. dark brown sugar
1/8 t. cardamom
1/4 t. salt
1/4 c. seeds (I used sesame)
1/4 c. nuts (I used peanuts)
1/3 c. honey
2 T. vegetable oil
1/4 c. powdered, freeze-dried mango (from 12 slices)
1/2 c. chopped dried mango
Preheat oven to 300°. Place a sheet of lightly oiled parchment paper on a baking sheet. Mix together oatmeal, brown sugar, cardamom, salt, seeds, and nuts in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, combine honey and oil, pour over oatmeal mixture and stir until well coated. Spread into a thin layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes, stir and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, until golden and crisp. Remove from oven. Lift parchment off of baking sheet and set on a cool surface. Sprinkle mango powder over granola and toss to combine. Add chopped mango and toss again. Allow to cool, then store in an airtight container at room temperature.